Spotlight Movie // Endurance

Mel Gibson as Shackleton?
  Director Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm") is hoping to land either Mel Gibson or Russell Crowe to star as Sir Ernest Shackleton in the historical adaptation "Endurance," says Studio Briefing. The true story of Shackleton's failed Antarctic journey, and the remarkable rescue that ensued, offers the perfect action/alpha-male role Gibson and Crowe thrive on.
Posted: 06/06/01

Shackleton's Adapted Ice Adventure
  If a screenwriter crafted a story about a would-be Antarctic explorer whose boat and crew were caught in ice floes for almost two years, yet not one crew member died, that writer would be tossed from every production office in Hollywood.

But seeing as this implausible story actually happened to Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew, Variety says the script for "Endurance" (named after the stranded ship) is being put on the fast track with Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm") attached to direct.

In 1914, Shackleton sought to be the first explorer to cross the Antarctic continent, but his plans went to hell when his wooden ship was snared by ice. For months, Shackleton and his crew were stranded on ice floes with no chance for recovery because of their remote location. Realizing that hope was swirling down the toilet, Shackleton and five crewmen boarded a salvaged, 22-foot life boat and made a harrowing 17-day journey across violent seas to a whaling outpost on South Georgia Island. But it doesn't end there! The rescue party landed on a remote part of the island, so to reach salvation the six men were forced to trek through 26 miles of mountainous ice-covered terrain. Shackleton eventually found help and returned to Antarctica where he successfully saved every member of the 28-man crew.

The story has been adapted into an IMAX documentary, but it's a wonder it hasn't already been turned into a full-blown feature.

More on Ernest Shackleton and "Endurance"
Lots of slick graphics and a nice overview of Shackleton's feat.

American Museum of Natural History
An accompanying site to a 1999 "Endurance" exhibition. Be sure to check out a picture of the actual life boat.

Posted: 04/13/01